So you’ve a million dollar App Idea and now looking to hire ios app developer company to turn your idea into an high quality mobile app, but confused which way to go about? If that is what you are stuck at right now, then keep reading on…

Let me first of all mention here that any Mobile Apps Development or the buzzword phenomenon iOS App development is a typical Software Development task only, the only difference can be the comparatively short duration of the project development and testing wrt an Enterprise level software development. But in either case, Quality, Time-to-market, User Experience, Usability, and Price of product are of top significance. So whether it is an iOS Apps development company or an Android Apps development one, it is a actually Software Development Company at first place and hence it requires a great degree of expertise, capabilities, processes/ methodologies, and Quality standards to develop a Mobile App!

Although we ourselves are one of the top App Development Companies catering mobile start ups to do third party app development, I’ve thought from your (customer’s) point of view and following are the steps which we feel are necessary to be taken in your search to hire ios app developer for your project:

Step 1. Do your homework, get your idea on paper as well documented one, and try to have wire-frames (even pen-sketched would do) handy beforehand.

This is the most important base of any successful App development venture. Get ready with your idea done on paper, it should be well documented with all the features and functionality requirements of the app, covering details of any backend/ server side information (if, any pertinent), and MUST BE showcasing the flow of your app, either in a diagram format, or sketched by pen, or a .PSD file, or on a PPTX, or using some tools like this – Keynote kungoo template, or OmniGraffle, or mockflow, or just go through some posts on Quora here for more information on this – http://www.quora.com/Should-iPhone-and-Android-apps-be-wireframed-separately, http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-methods-for-wireframing-iPhone-apps.

Again, I personally recommend having a pen-paper App flow first before anything else. And then you’ve the liberty to either use these tools, or hiring a designer, or thinking on outsourcing design work as well along with the coding of the app.

Note: If you are targeting two or more platforms i.e Android and iPhone, then try to have separate app flow wireframes for each, despite the fact that app will be similar, but still both devices are different for applications behavior in few ways, so better to treat these different. This is just recommended, and good App development companies can iterate one for another easily, with a couple of discussions and back and forth review sessions.

Step 2. Clear with what you want? Start hunting for development company, create a raw list of potential development companies, let’s see how!

Now you have all the information and stuff with you and know what you are looking for, so you should take all or any of the steps given below to create a raw list of potential software development companies:

  • Option 1. Spread the word in your contact circle about your requirements (if you are comfortable doing that, most are not though) and see if you get any references of professional Mobile App Studios, that have good expertise, experience, and reasonable rates for you.Well, this doesn’t work always due to one reason or another. May be developers in your location (for ex. USA) are too costly, or difficult to be found out, or are too busy to take up your project, or may be you don’t have any expert in your direct/ indirect circle. So, you can’t only rely on this, because time is significant and you just shouldn’t wait for a developer to come up from your contacts first, and then only you kick off. Not recommended as the sole option!
  • Option 2. Do a google search with right keywords, or search via social networks like Quora, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and then browse through search pages, quickly check out websites of potential development companies, and contact all that look promising and professional at first look! (This mostly works, and is a recommended step)You can do a google search with keywords like “Hire iOS App Developer”, “iOS App Development Companies”, “Mobile App Development Companies”, “Mobile Apps Developers India”, “Top custom Mobile Apps developers”, “Android Apps Development Companies” and so on.Once you get results as per these keywords, search through first 4-5 pages or more, and keep on clicking on websites listed there, and start contacting the ones that look more professional, have Apps Portfolio listed, with customer testimonials, and gives info on their processes like how does the App development outsourcing work, what are the rates, how do they protect your IPR and so on.Generally, services companies have online contact us forms to be filled up by you, or a sales ID given, so use any option and contact them, with your name/ contact details and also give a brief about what are you looking for (for example you can simply write: “Hi, John here from NY and I’m looking for skilled iPhone Apps developers for my Location based social App project and Backend, revert to my E-mail ID if you are interested, thanks”), and wait for the responses.
  • Option 3. Post your project on freelancing/ online markeplaces sites like Elance, oDesk as a commodity and wait for responses. (Not recommended if you are first time customers on these portals, as it needs great degree of diligence to figuring out the right developer for you among a slew of mostly generic responses)Here, You’ll ofcourse receive many bids on your project in few days, and widely ranging from USD 500 to USD 10,000 for the same piece of work. Isn’t it bit funny? It will take a lot of pain out of you to weed out the non-genuine, non promising bidders from the list, and then talking to 3-4 potential ones and choosing one.Choosing the right developer via these marketplaces is a different “Art”, and we’ll surely have an article on that in coming posts. For now, only suggestion if you are using these – just don’t solicit responses on the basis of a vague description of your project, you may rather ask interested developers to sign an NDA and then reveal full details and then only ask them to quote (it brings only genuine players in the scene, making it easier for you to decide).Anyways, we are done with the steps of creating a raw short list of potential developers. Now take the next step.

Step 3. Check out responses coming via any of the medium/ source mentioned above and start screening/ further shortlisting.

You are getting responses and great interests for your project, good! Now, sit with a cool head and count how many different iOS App Developers and freelancers have responded to your web inquiry, or freelancer site’s posting, or contacted you proactively.

If these are more than 10, then do an initial level screening at your end, weed out the generic responses right away, and consider the ones which are specific, asking you for further details, and suggesting you next steps for the sales process. Share the specific project requirements with short listed vendors after signing an NDA/ confidentiality agreement.

Step 4. Create your vendor selection criteria (keep it flexible as it gets and should get modified as along with the purchase process, because you gain some knowledge during that), and start screening.

A recommended Vendor Selection Criteria should have following major parameters:

  1. Responsiveness during the process. (Just think that the ones who are having a lazy sales team are unlikely to have a robust development team, exceptions are there though)
  2. Past experience on App Development project/ App Portfolio/ References.
  3. Expertise and skill-sets level, and Mobile domain knowledge. (most important, anyone can say they are one of the best, but it is you who’ll decide if they are best-matching to your needs or not).
  4. Quality of questions they ask you about your project, and their attitude towards you (are they supportive and suggestive and act as consultants, or they just treat you as a mere lead).
  5. Pricing and reasoning behind the pricing they are offering, and payment terms. Companies usually take some percentage of total amount as kick-off fee (in advance) and which is a standard practice.
  6. Transparency – How transparently they share the estimation with low-level task break up, the reasons of the final price, calculations, sharing of genuine CVs of resources, facilitating interview with the proposed developer and team lead and so on.
  7. Quality and Project Execution processes – ask them to share some details about how they execute the project, and what quality standards they follow; and compare the answers/ information coming from each company. Just note that promising world is easy to win a customer, but consider what seems worthy in practical terms.
  8. Your overall experience and comfort level with each potential company during the decision-making process: that may sound kiddish but is most important. Ultimately, you’ll be working closely with them for next 2 to 6 months (depending upon the duration of the project) so it is really important for you to figure out with whom you are getting a Team-work feeling and a comfort/ transparent atmosphere.
  9. Proposed Agreements, terms & conditions, accountability clauses, and post delivery support.

You can list down all these parameters in the left hand column of a matrix, give them percentage weight age out of 100 (for ex. pricing may be having 15 % weight and quality of questions may have 12 % and so on) then create corresponding rows for each company head and its total score. Score each company against each parameter on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being least and 10 being best), then multiply the score with the weight-age of corresponding parameter, and do the total of each company’s score at the bottom.

Let me try to explain it with an example table:

    Score Company A Score Company B Score Company C
Parameter Weight-age (out of 100) Individual Score Weighted Score Individual Score Weighted Score Individual Score Weighted Score
Responsiveness during the process. 20 % 5 20*5        
Stability and years in business of the company. 10 % 7 10*7        
Expertise and skill-sets level, and Mobile domain knowledge. X % 2 X*2        
Previous Work Experience, References Y % 6 Y*6        
Total 100 Percent   Total A   Total B   Total C

Please note that the total given in blue highlight/ white color text are the decisive scores. It seems to be a bit theoretical method, but you can try using it, it really works, because you’ve all the scoring on one single paper, and based on the total scores, you can further weed out the non-matching players. I don’t say that go ahead with the total scoring only, but it will atleast give you some solid base for decision-making.

Step 4. Share your intent to work with the selected vendor, finalize on development plan, payment modes and milestones, agreement, and kick off!

Alternatively, if you want to try our services then reach me directly at sales@agicent.com, share your idea, and get a quote.